When you drive down Syracuse city roads, you might encounter potholes, cracks and crumbling pavement. If you do, you’re definitely not alone.
Of the 411 miles of road that cover the city, most of them are damaged in some way. One resident, Angela McDowell, has lived in Syracuse her whole life and says the conditions have never really changed.
“It’s like going into a hole…and then having to climb back out of it,” McDowell says about potholes. “And you try to go around some of them, and you just can’t, it’s too big.”
While a lot of residents feel a similar way about the current road conditions, the Department of Public Works says it is also frustrated but is doing the best they can with what they have.
“Every year I try to get a minimum of $5 million for our [reconstruction] budget…I was only given $2.5 million”, says DPW commissioner, Pete O’Connor.
O’Connor explained that the department waits for the yearly budget announcement, decides which roads are in most need based on a strategic formula and then begins to plan the year ahead.
He says one block of city road costs anywhere from $100,000 to $125,000 to repair completely, so $2.5 million is not enough to make a dent in the amount of roads that need reconstruction in Syracuse. O’Connor explained that they fix roads that need the most help first, and if there is money left over, then the Department will use that money to fix others that are next on the list.
Reconstruction for the 2017 year starts in mid-April.